Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    I'm just getting back into guitar after many years away. And even back when I was playing I was really only in the learning stages of playing. I'm 64, and back in the mid to late 90s took lessons for just over 3 years fairly regularly from a jazz guitarist.

    I was learning really only chord melody songs, not single line soloing. My teacher back then taught me chord melody using hybrid picking.

    But this time around I would really like to understand music theory, and even learn to read music notation.

    Also, I would like to learn jazz soloing and improvising.

    I have a TON of guitar books and guitar educational material.

    One of the courses that I have, I posted about in the "Theory" forum here. Rich Severson : Theory and Technique Volumes 1 thru 4 (jazzguitar.be). I almost finished the first volume of this back when I was learning guitar in the mid to late 1990's.

    I also have William Leavitt's book 1 of a Modern Method for guitar. And I think I found the Larry Baione videos lessons of it on YouTube < click link for playlist

    I am thinking maybe I should start this time with Modern Method For Guitar Volume 1, really sticking to it and finishing it. Then go through Rich's Severson's Theory and Technique Volumes 1-4.

    There are so many options.

    Again, I have a ton of books. You name it I probably have it. But where to start this time?

    But I really want to get a full understanding of music theory and how it can apply to jazz guitar.

    I'm open to suggestions and ideas if you would like to give some input. Thanks!
    Last edited by oceanslider; 11-29-2021 at 03:07 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Starting with Leavitt book 1 to get warmed up is fine. Just a few thoughts:

    1. Do you want to use CAGED fingering or Leavitt’s? You don’t have to decide yet but it’s something to start thinking about.

    2. Don’t get bogged down in section 1 (open position). If you can, study both sections in parallel.

    3. If you can find Voice Leading for Guitar by John Thomas (former Berklee teacher) it’s a good chordal supplement.

    for applied theory try The Berklee Book of Jazz Harmony and The Advancing Guitarist.

    I left out the topic of improv for now…

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    Starting with Leavitt book 1 to get warmed up is fine. Just a few thoughts:

    1. Do you want to use CAGED fingering or Leavitt’s? You don’t have to decide yet but it’s something to start thinking about.

    2. Don’t get bogged down in section 1 (open position). If you can, study both sections in parallel.

    3. If you can find Voice Leading for Guitar by John Thomas (former Berklee teacher) it’s a good chordal supplement.

    for applied theory try The Berklee Book of Jazz Harmony and The Advancing Guitarist.

    I left out the topic of improv for now…
    At this point I don't know the difference between CAGED fingering and Leavitt. I never studied either yet.

    Is it something you have to choose one or the other?

    Do people have an opinion on which is better for a jazz guitarist?

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Neither.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Neither.
    Thank you so very much. Extremely helpful and insightful.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanslider
    At this point I don't know the difference between CAGED fingering and Leavitt. I never studied either yet.

    Is it something you have to choose one or the other?

    Do people have an opinion on which is better for a jazz guitarist?
    People definitely have an opinion, lol. For now just realize that Leavitt involves stretches where CAGED involves shifts. Stretches are hard on your hands, shifts are somewhat of a hassle. So there are trade-offs. It can depend on a few things: How young are your hands, what position are you in, how long are your fingers, how long or short is your guitar scale length, etc.

    CAGED is the traditional fingering and you will find it everywhere, including in Aaaron Shearer's scale book (Classical). Leavitt liked stretches because he thought it important not to shift positions when sight reading charts in a pit orchestra, among other reasons. (or so the story goes). And Jazz? I'm sure that he played some jazz but I've never heard or seen evidence of it and I have studied with Berklee or ex-Berklee instructors off and on for decades.

    That's kind of black and white but there are exeptions too. For example, Leavitt covers shifting in his Volume 3 and Shearer includes stretches in higher positions where it's easier.

    You'll have time to delve into this later. Cheers.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    People definitely have an opinion, lol. For now just realize that Leavitt involves stretches where CAGED involves shifts. Stretches are hard on your hands, shifts are somewhat of a hassle. So there are trade-offs. It can depend on a few things: How young are your hands, what position are you in, how long are your fingers, how long or short is your guitar scale length, etc.

    CAGED is the traditional fingering and you will find it everywhere, including in Aaaron Shearer's scale book (Classical). Leavitt liked stretches because he thought it important not to shift positions when sight reading charts in a pit orchestra, among other reasons. (or so the story goes). And Jazz? I'm sure that he played some jazz but I've never heard or seen evidence of it and I have studied with Berklee or ex-Berklee instructors off and on for decades.

    That's kind of black and white but there are exeptions too. For example, Leavitt covers shifting in his Volume 3 and Shearer includes stretches in higher positions where it's easier.

    You'll have time to delve into this later. Cheers.
    Two questions…

    Are there sight reading methods based more around the CAGED system?

    I have heard of Jazz artists who are CAGED based. But I have not heard of any that are Leavitt based. What jazz artist solo more based upon Leavitt’s way?

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I learned with CAGED. But eventually it doesn't matter much, eventually you just know the fingerboard and are able to play the whole fretboard both horizontally and vertically. And, you are no longer conscious of what system you learned it all with.

    I like how CAGED is connected to chords. I learned the CAGED chords first. For example how to take a C form chord up the neck (it's easy once you have the fingering down), and how to change the form for minor, minor 7, dominant 7, dominant 9, etc., etc. Then when I learned the related scales, arpeggios, phrases, licks etc. they were already connected to the chords which facilitates an awareness of chord tones while playing them.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanslider
    Two questions…

    Are there sight reading methods based more around the CAGED system?

    I have heard of Jazz artists who are CAGED based. But I have not heard of any that are Leavitt based. What jazz artist solo more based upon Leavitt’s way?
    I dont know of any jazz players, or straight ahead jazz players that strictly follow Leavitt's fingerings when improvising, but its hard to see hand movement at the atomic level when things are moving so fast.

    If you play jazz, especially bebop oriented jazz you will be forced to both shift and stretch, especially shift, a lot. If one chooses to see it that way, they may decide NOT to pound those Leavitt scale drills quite so religiously.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Re-learn a couple of your favorite chord-melody tunes so you'll have something to play in case someone says "...play something".
    Work up a couple of new chord-melody tunes: in the process, you'll learn a lot of related topics. Finally, if at all possible, play the guitar every day for at least a few minutes.

    Everything else will fall into place.

    Tony D.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    I went through the leavitt books at Berklee, but think the CAGED way is better. Or at least more useful and easier to learn since it gives you the chord and the scale in the same spot and makes it all much easier. At least for my little brain. Makes connecting the whole fingerboard a snap.

    As far as theory goes, like most things its a pretty simple deal but usually explained in a more complicated way than it needs to be.

    I learned classical theory and jazz theory and jazz is the way to go for sure. It’s made much easier with numbers (scale degrees).

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pilotony
    Re-learn a couple of your favorite chord-melody tunes so you'll have something to play in case someone says "...play something".
    Work up a couple of new chord-melody tunes: in the process, you'll learn a lot of related topics. Finally, if at all possible, play the guitar every day for at least a few minutes.

    Everything else will fall into place.

    Tony D.
    Quote Originally Posted by 6v6ster
    I went through the Leavitt books at Berklee, but think the CAGED way is better. Or at least more useful and easier to learn since it gives you the chord and the scale in the same spot and makes it all much easier. At least for my little brain. Makes connecting the whole fingerboard a snap.

    As far as theory goes, like most things its a pretty simple deal but usually explained in a more complicated way than it needs to be.

    I learned classical theory and jazz theory and jazz is the way to go for sure. It’s made much easier with numbers (scale degrees).
    Thank you, I appreciate the input.

    I agree, pull out my old binders from when I took lessons and start re-learning. It's amazing how much you forget if you don't do it for 20yrs.

    I am also going to go through Rich's stuff that I have, which I linked above, in that he covers CAGED while teaching Theory.

    But I called my teacher from years ago (late 90s), he studied under Chuck Wayne longer than anyone. He said the CAGED system is too limiting because of the chord voicing used, or at least that is what I interpreted him saying. I'm going to make the 1.5hr drive (one way) and go see him real soon for a lesson also.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    I’m just talking about the basic scale and arpeggio fingerings and shift vs stretch.

    I don’t think about the chords too much when I think of CAGED, it’s just a name

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    I do agree though that caged or not, it’s all just a means to learn the board. and once you do, however you do, then you’re free to bust out of those training wheels and go all over without having to think in terms of any particular system.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Last note on this,

    it is the first finger stretch or at least the persistent use of the first finger stretch that is the more significant issue. Fourth finger stretches are less of an issue because players tend to move the hand upwards (shift) much of the time and that's not a "true" Leavitt stretch involving a planted/unmoving 2nd and/or 3rd finger.

    Finally, the above discussion is limited to melodic playing (scales/arpeggios etc.). First finger stretches for certain chord voicings is not the concern, because of the infrequency/lack of repetition in actual music (as opposed to practice).

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanslider
    At this point I don't know the difference between CAGED fingering and Leavitt. I never studied either yet.

    Is it something you have to choose one or the other?

    Do people have an opinion on which is better for a jazz guitarist?
    I don’t think of CAGED as a fingering. It’s just a very quick and easy way to lay out the fretboard, telling you where are you are at any point in time. I’ve memorized all the notes on the fretboard, but I still used CAGED as a point of reference at least some of the time.

    It doesn’t require you to learn anything new, really. If you already know your open cowboy chords, then boom. Once you get the CAGED idea, you’ve got this really cool map to get you going.

    I’m not sure CAGED is very useful for anything more than this simple point of reference up and down the neck. But that’s a lot of value for minimal effort or memorization.